I also argued that because the physical sciences deal with deterministic phenomena, the modern assault on reason and rational epistemology has had relatively less of a destructive impact. Conversely, the social sciences, which deal with human beings and therefore volition, bare the scar tissue of the philosopher's relentless assault on reason as can be seen in the convoluted and downright bizarre theories routinely offered by these disciplines. I offer the success of modern technology derived from physics, chemistry, and biology as against the "triumphs" of modern economists, psychologists, and philosophers as proof of which approach works. Think Galileo, Newton, and Darwin versus Robert Reich, Cass Sunstein, and Paul Krugman.
An interesting real life example of these ideas played out recently. According to Mark Morano, a recent editorial by Rudy Baum, the editor-in-chief of the American Chemical Society, claiming that “the science of anthropogenic climate change is becoming increasingly well established” and that the "consensus" view was growing "increasingly difficult to challenge, despite the efforts of diehard climate-change deniers” has caused a spirited revolt against Baum by skeptical, outraged chemists worldwide. Quoting Morano:
The editorial was met with a swift, passionate and scientific rebuke from Baum's colleagues. Virtually all of the letters published on July 27 in castigated Baum's climate science views. Scientists rebuked Baum's use of the word “deniers” because of the terms “association with Holocaust deniers.” In addition, the scientists called Baum's editorial: “disgusting”; “a disgrace”; “filled with misinformation”; “unworthy of a scientific periodical” and “pap.”Morano quotes dozens of scathing letters calling Baum to the carpet for making such an absurd claim. They are all so good, all I can say is read the link for more details.
One of the scientists cited in Morano's article is Dr. Will Happer, the Cyrus Fogg Bracket Professor of Physics at Princeton, who was fired by Gore in 1993 for "failing to adhere to Gore's scientific views". Happer recently offered this brilliant testimony to the U.S. Senate and reading it is truly a breath of fresh air. After reading it, I was tempted to write a post titled "Global Warming, RIP", and all I can do is offer him the highest compliment possible - it is truly "simplistic."
Now let's transition to the social sciences as briefly as possible. This article discussed recent polls that show Americans are "cooling" on global warming.
Here's what Gallup found: The number of Americans who say the media have exaggerated global warming jumped to a record 41 percent in 2009, up from 35 percent a year ago. The most marked increase came among political independents, whose ranks of doubters swelled from 33 percent to 44 percent. Republican doubters grew from 59 percent to 66 percent, while Democratic skeptics stayed at around 20 percent.In light of all the facts cited above, from prominent scientists revolting against the global warming orthodoxy based on experimental data and logic to polls showing that Americans increasingly think it is a hoax or at least not significant relative to their livelihood, do you think intellectuals on the Left might reconsider their position?
What's more, fewer Americans believe the effects of global warming have started to occur: 53 percent see signs of a hotter planet, down from 61 percent in 2008. Global warming placed last among eight environmental concerns Gallup asked respondents to rank, with water pollution landing the top spot.
Ask Daniel Weiss, a senior fellow and director of climate strategy at the left-leaning Center for American Progress, why increasing numbers of Americans dispute global warming and place the economy ahead of the environment, and he'll say those findings are wrong.Keep in mind, this is a man who is not skeptical of computer climate models that attempt to predict the earth's temperature in one hundred years but is intensely skeptical of a Gallup Poll. More likely, as Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute points out:
"I don't accept their premise. I think the Gallup Poll is mistaken," said Weiss, whose organization will send its chief executive officer, former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, to Monday's clean energy confab. "I would want to look at their questions to see how they got to this place."
...the planet's average temperature hasn't risen since 1997, despite a 5 percent gain in the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the same period. Twelve years doesn't make for a long-term trend, Ebell said, but every year that goes by with no increase in average temperatures makes it harder to assert the climate is sensitive to carbon dioxide.Sounds reasonable, right? Not if you are Senator Harry Reid.
"I think there's a huge amount of skepticism among the public. They've heard all these claims, and now they've been informed that there isn't any recent warming," Ebell said. "The public, without having a lot of information about it, is pretty astute. I think the alarmists are having a hard time making the case for global warming simply because reality is against them and the public has figured it out."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., responded that the science showing the greenhouse effect on Earth's climate is solid. He pointed to pictures from Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, which reveal the virtual disappearance of a glacier in the past 35 years.Let's see - Professor Happer's explanation of the causal effects of CO2 on the earth's climate versus pictures of a glacier from Mark Begich....I'm going to go with Happer. But let us not forget the economists:
Ok, so economists think that the country that pays more for "clean" energy rather than less for uh, "dirty" energy that has no discernible effect on anything is going to dominate the world economy? I'll have to email Robert Reich or Paul Krugman to explain that one to me. However, I will point out Reid's flagrant commission of the broken window fallacy in claiming that "retrofitting" buildings will somehow help the economy - a claim logically equivalent to suggesting that we blow up the United States periodically to help the economy - a claim that I have debunked countless times [1, 2] .
Worse still, agreed Reid and Weiss, eschewing environmental policies hurts the economy. Prominent venture capitalists and executives from Fortune 500 companies such as General Electric say investing in green energy will boost the economy, creating millions of high-tech jobs. Even a policy as simple as retrofitting existing buildings and constructing new buildings according to green standards would bolster the construction sector, as well as reduce waste and pollution, Reid said.
"The country that makes the clean energy technologies of the future is going to be the one that dominates the world economy," Weiss said.
Unfortunately, we haven't heard from all the social scientists yet. What do psychologists have to say? According to an article titled, Psychological Barriers Hobble Climate Action:
Psychological barriers like uncertainty, mistrust and denial keep most Americans from acting to fight climate change, a task force of the American Psychological Association said on Wednesday.But, not to worry. The psychologists have identified why humans are so inept at assimilating leftist propaganda.
Now some of you "simple minded" members of the "anti-reform mobs" may be tempted to inquire further as to the nature of habit changing "energy use feedback". But, I say, as long as whatever they do results in "pro-environment" behavior, I'm all for it.
Habit is the most important obstacle to pro-environment behavior, the task force found.
But habits can be changed, especially if changing saves money and people are quickly made aware of it. People are more likely to use energy-efficient appliances if they get immediate energy-use feedback, the task force said. [emphasis mine]
And anyway, they have more mundane methods:
It identified other areas where psychology can help limit the effects of climate change, such as developing environmental regulations, economic incentives, better energy-efficient technology and communication methods. [emphasis mine]Did I miss the section on "developing environmental regulations" in psychology class?
I must not be very smart, but I guess I rather be simplistic than complexistic.